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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Social Structure

Our social environment almost always defines our beliefs, our sense of right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable, good and bad. It shapes our aims and aspirations and hence defines our personality. Consequently it shapes the future of mankind.

After trying to expound the details of Organisation structure, I wonder what could be the structure of social environment. How can we classify and categorise the various disciplines varying from calculus to glass painting, from news reporting to nuclear physics, from astronomy to gastronomy? How do these disciplines fit into the society’s development scheme?

If you examine the different roles played by various disciplines, you will realise that each forms an important cog in the wheel of life. Each performs a key role that is not only important but also essential and critical for the development of society of tomorrow. These roles are not exclusive traits of individual’s personality rather a categorisation of traits present in each individual. When these individual traits are aggregated at social level they form the social fabric.

Typically, you can classify these roles into three main categories namely those of the reporter, the detective and the inventor.

The Reporter
The reporter role is that of an observer. Like a news reporter, we convey, broadcast or propagate a picture or assessment, true or otherwise, of the reality. Typically a salesman selling a product dons this role to convey the existence and benefits of his product. An artist “reports” his view of a landscape, people and objects through his paintings or photos. A model propagates a designer’s view of style. An accountant reports the performance of his company.

The Detective
Detectives are often souls in search of reason for an occurrence “reported” to them. Like a detective, they try to understand, comprehend, question or demystify, correctly or otherwise, the believed reality. These are scientists in search of explanation of big bang. Doctors and researchers try to “understand” reasons for obesity. Scholars “question” roles of auditors in scams like Enron. Experts “demystify” the effects of globalisation.

The Inventor
Inventors are people who design or develop products, systems, using the “understanding”. Entrepreneurs develop products to take advantage of unsatisfied needs. Christianity was “invented” to address the wrong-doings of the Romans. Democracy was “invented” to challenge the whimsical tyrants who oppressed the people they ruled.

In Sum
At a social level, it is possible that during a certain period there is a dominance of a particular role. This might explain the social behaviour, positive and negative, in that period. At a personal level, these roles seem to be like a tool that is used in everyday life. It is imperative that we not only master these roles but also understand when to use which roles. For example, in a period dominated by inventors, being a reporter or detective may be more rewarding.

I would venture a guess that past two centuries have seen dominance of inventors. Inventors from Henry Ford to Jack Welch, Steve Jobs to Versace, spiritual gurus to Communist Party of China, are so far astoundingly numerous. The dominance has been so complete that entrepreneurs have nearly run out of ideas that can be translated into inventions. These inventions have led to economic stability and enrichment fertile enough to breed a new breed of reporters.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A new Responsibility!

One of the best ways to silence an outspoken person is to give him responsibility for public relations! This is my learning and reason of my silence for the past few months. In my new job responsibility, I am supposed to be an Industry Analyst! My views will form the views of my company for the industries I track! Hence according to business conduct guidelines I rather not state my views out in the open.
That suddenly leaves a lot less to be written as I am tracking the currently hot sector "Real Estate"! But life is life and so it will be that my comments from now on will be rather less related to housing, cities, real estate and more about other issues in life.
So starts a new chapter in life!